Forget Brand, Choose the Right Contractor
If all these years in the HVAC industry have taught our staff at Bob Jenson anything, it’s that clients sometimes underestimate just how critical proper HVAC installation is. The wrong installation can result in sweaty summers, winters not warm enough, and utility bills through the roof.
So how can you choose an HVAC provider you can trust? You probably want more info than what’s on Yelp — although if you just looked at our reviews, we’d be okay with that. Before you contact a contractor to install a new system or upgrade an outdated one, learn these five essential qualities to ensure that you end up satisfied with the HVAC provider you choose.
They Have the Proper Paperwork
First and foremost, a proper HVAC contractor in California will be licensed by the Contractors State License Board. This licensure allows a contractor to manipulate electrical, plumbing, and gas lines. Licensed contractors know how to handle refrigerant, especially in compliance with federal restrictions from the Clean Air Act that require newer air conditioning units to use R-410A instead of R-22.
Look for your contractor’s license number on their website (ours is located at the bottom of the page), business cards, informational pamphlets and brochures, and/or their work vehicles. The parent company will also hold worker’s compensation, liability insurance, and a surety bond.
They Meet You in Person
A legitimate contractor will always visit your home or business to provide an estimate or bid. Beware of inexperienced contractors who will try to hustle you with an attractive price over the phone without ever setting foot inside your door. Windows, insulation, ducting, number of registers, square footage — these are all concerns that a proper contractor will take into account during a walkthrough. A contractor will then utilize calculations — known in the industry as Manuals J (for cooling and heating), S (for equipment size), and D (for ductwork) — to create a thorough evaluation.
Don’t rely on verbal or over-the-phone promises. Always insist on a written and itemized contract that includes payment due dates and project deadlines, which any reputable HVAC company would be happy to provide.
They Rely on Knowledge and Experience
You want a contractor who will select the perfect HVAC system for your home or business. Choosing the correct size or having an energy-efficient air conditioning unit is far more important than buying the most popular brand. For instance, heating and cooling systems that are Energy Star qualified meet strict federal standards for energy efficiency, thereby promoting long-term savings on utility costs.
Some contractors will attempt to push a certain model on customers simply because they are trying to get rid of old inventory, or they will use gimmicks and act-now discounts to disguise their inexperience. Ethical contractors will also make you aware of your system’s warranties, in addition to any guarantees, incentives, and potential rebates and refunds available to you as the homeowner or business owner.
They’re Certified and Proud of It
The best HVAC contractors stay up-to-date on the latest technologies in order to save their customers money on utility costs. You’re ideally looking for a company that has years of experience installing multiple types and sizes of HVAC systems and a demonstrable skill set in computers and programmable systems.
The North American Technician Excellence (NATE) organization, the nation’s largest non-profit organization for HVAC installers, also provides rigorous testing to earn their certification, with additional continuous education programs required for recertification every two years. A NATE-certified HVAC installer typically provides the highest-quality service with fewer average callbacks than a contractor without such credentials.
They’re Trusted in Your Community
You will want to brush up on a company’s credentials by reading about their past service, but be skeptical of online reviews that are overwhelmingly glowing or deeply bitter without providing much in the way of specific details. The Better Business Bureau is a solid resource to utilize — Bob Jenson has an A+ rating and zero customer complaints through the BBB — as are Angie’s List and the ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America).
Of course, your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors might provide the most honest and important recommendations, and the best HVAC companies work hard to maintain their community standing. Bob Jenson is a highly accredited, certified, licensed, and experienced HVAC contractor, serving the Greater San Diego Area. Contact our trusted experts today to experience the difference!
For over 45 years, Bob Jenson has been providing quality heating and air services to the San Diego community.
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